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Tuesday, 2 October, 2001, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
Boeing signs huge China deal
A Boeing 737 800 in production
Boeing's 737-800 is China's model of choice
In a rare piece of good news for the US avitation industry, Boeing has signed a $1.6bn contract to supply China with 30 jetliners.

The aircraft, almost all of which are Boeing's 737-800 model, will be delivered over the next three years.

Twenty of the 30 planes will go to China Southern Airlines, and the rest to four other regional carriers.

Although the global airline business may be in something of a slump at present, Boeing forecasts that China will require 1,764 new aeroplanes over the next 20 years.

Chinese air traffic is predicted to grow by an annual 9.3% over the same period.

Gloomy trend

The deal runs counter to the current gloomy trend in the aviation industry.

The use of passenger jets to damage the Pentagon and destroy the World Trade Center has catalysed a wave of layoffs among both airlines and aeroplane manufacturers.

Boeing alone is cutting 20-30,000 jobs, while well over 100,000 jobs have gone among the world's airlines, and Europe's Swissair has had to seek bankruptcy protection.

US airlines are warning that they, too, will have to seek Chapter 11 protection, a form of bankruptcy which wards off a company's creditors while it tries to restructure.

And on 1 October the US's two biggest airlines, American and Continental, said traffic fell more than 30% in September.

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 ON THIS STORY
Philip Butterworth Hayes, Janes Airport Review
"Both Airbus and Boeing are going to do well in China."
See also:

26 Sep 01 | Business
Aviation firms axe 26,000 jobs
23 Sep 01 | Business
Airlines receive $15bn aid boost
19 Sep 01 | Business
Boeing: From biplanes to space craft
19 Sep 01 | Business
US aviation crisis deepens
17 Sep 01 | Business
UK airlines 'need government aid'
18 Sep 01 | South Asia
Airlines suspend Sri Lanka flights
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